Wednesday, 29 February 2012


The South Downs are not entirely beautiful. The Waterhall valley, for example, has a fairly extensive area of scrubby woodland.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Flashback . . .

. . . to last summer. It was in this field that I took the photograph of the poppies.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Rocky Clump

This is beyond that gate - a field of cows grazing near Rocky Clump with the new Amex stadium beyond and Castle Hill providing a backdrop.

Sunday, 26 February 2012


What is beyond that gate, through that arch, behind that door, round that bend, over that hill? This gate leads out of the field in yesterday's picture and tomorrow we will go through it to see what lies beyond the hedge.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Dog walking

These fields just north of Stanmer are a popular spot for walking dogs.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Sunny afternoon

Looking across the Ditchling Road from the field beside the Upper Lodges of Stanmer Park. Over there beyond Tegdown Hill is the Chattri (the memorial) and Holt Hill.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Not the flowers - yet - but the leaves are showing strongly through the dead leaves in Stanmer Great Wood.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Avian des res

I wonder if our feathered friends think more highly of the "smart" nesting box than the standard one?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tony's daffodils

Tony's late wife first planted daffodil bulbs in the grass-covered traffic island outside their home many years ago and Tony adds a few every year just to make sure they keep going. He tells me these have been in bloom for several weeks, the first having come out before Christmas! A very welcome sign of spring.

Monday, 20 February 2012

A Loire chateau?

The back of the French Convalescent Home. This side looks across the main coast road at Black Rock. The architect, perhaps surprisingly, was English, although the home was run by the Sisters of St Paul of Chartres until 1994 when it was taken over by the local authority. It was sold in 1999 and converted into flats.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The foundation stone

His Excellency Baron de Courcel, French Ambassador, inaugurated this French Convalescent and Retirement Home (a branch of the French Hospital in London) on 8th October 1898.

This plaque is to the left of the front door and there is a matching plaque to the right on which the convalescent home comes first, ie was opened by the good baron. I have been unable to discover why the French Government would want to pay to build both a hospital and a convalescent home in England.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

French Convalescent Home

The rather imposing flight of steps leading to, in my opinion, a somewhat less imposing front door of what was the French Convalescent Home on De Courcel Road, Brighton. The building has now been converted into flats and is known as the French Apartments.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The memorial

This memorial stands on the edge of Stanmer Great Wood, a few hundred yards from Stanmer House. The inscription reads, "To the memory or Frederick Frankland, Esq: MP: Died March the 8th 1768 aged 73. This monument is erected by his ever affectionate and most truly grateful son and daughter Thomas Lord Pelham and Ann his wife June 1776." Note that despite his proclamation of affection and gratitude, it took his Lordship no less than eight years to erect the memorial!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Stanmer church and a sledge

The snow in front of the church is really too thin for sledging - and the ground is too flat anyway!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Stanmer church

Unfortunately, when we have snow in England we rarely seem to have blue skies as well.

Monday, 13 February 2012


This is not really what I want to see when I open the bedroom curtains in the morning, but fortunately it is not a very common occurrence.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Waterhall dew pond

No doubt the Friends of Waterhall had good reasons for constructing several of these piers but I haven't the foggiest idea what those reasons might be.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Lewes Crescent - 2

These houses are all converted into flats now, but imagine what it must have been like to own the whole house. Let's get up close and personal.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lewes Crescent

By way of contrast, we swing across to the eastern edge of the city and the elegant Lewes Crescent. These house provide some of the best addresses in town. They look across what were their private gardens and out to sea.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Portslade gassie

This monument, at the scruffy corner of Church Road, Portslade, and the coast road alongside the harbour, used to have two truncated oars but only one is left. To save typing, I have uploaded a picture of the explanatory notice.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Church Road view

Today we are going to the other side of the city, almost to the western edge. Here we are in what was the Urban District of Portslade-by-Sea. The reality, however, is less attractive than the name implies as the sea in mainly Shoreham Harbour with its accompanying industrial complexes. This is the view as we drive down Church Road, Portslade.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The dew pond again

We head back towards the car past the dew pond at the top of the Wild Park. It actually looks pretty full despite the dire warnings we have been given about the low level of water in local reservoirs. The white building just visible through the centre tree is the new Amex Community Stadium.

Monday, 6 February 2012


We come off the Camp and walk towards the Brentwood estate and Hollingdean. There was a time when this field was ploughed every year but it seems to have been taken over by the general public and s used as an open space on the edge of the city. From here we can see across to the Bevendean valley and the Race Hill above. The race course grandstand is at top right. It was not the sunniest of afternoons for our walk.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

On the western rampart

Emerging from the gorse maze, we climb the western rampart where, buffeted by the wind, we look across the golf course, across Patcham with its windmill to more of the Downs beyond.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The gorse maze

Heading into the maze of gorse growing in the middle of the Roman Camp.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Rocky Clump

Framed by the bare branches of beech trees at the bottom of the Pudding Bag - part of Stanmer woods - Rocky Clump stands high on the far side of the valley.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Airborne elegance

I always think gulls are among the most elegant of fliers.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Football triallists?

The local professional football club, Brighton & Hove Albion, have the nickname the Seagulls. Could these birds, spotted on a football pitch at Waterhall, be hoping for a trial? Oddly enough, they just seemed to be soaking up the sun, nearly all facing the same way, and very few anywhere else on the other seven or eight pitches.